- Kuwait Times Extra
Many people are afraid of flying, to the extent that some even take pills or alcoholic beverages to calm themselves down. Travelling on a plane can be a tense experience for such people and on many occasions, turbulence puts them in a state of anxiety and panic. Seeing people in a state of panic doesn’t help anyone relax on a flight, especially when there is a child crying in the background. That just adds to the whole drama of trying to calm yourself down and put the fear of flying to bed.
Now, if you thought all these factors make flights difficult, take a moment and think of the poor passengers of JetBlue flight 191. The passengers of that flight had to witness the Captain of the aircraft run up and down the packed plane, shouting about bombs, Al-Qaeda, Iraq and Iran. It is one thing seeing passengers panic and a completely different thing, watching the Captain shout “We are going to die.”
Apparently Captain Clayton Osborne started acting strangely in the cockpit and the co-pilot encouraged him. The pilot had a breakdown and started running up and down, shouting about bombs, terrorism, death etc. The captain had to be taken down and restrained by stewards and passengers, and the plane had to land to put an end to the whole ordeal.
Ever since watching that on the news, I could not stop thinking of how terrified people must have been and how fortunate it was that nobody suffered a heart attack from what they just witnessed. I could not even imagine how the co-pilot or flight attendants could calm people down and explain to them that there are no bombs or terrorists on the plane, and it is only the Captain who suffered a nervous breakdown.
What triggered his meltdown? Why did he shout out about bombs and terrorists? What made him think of Iran and Iraq? The questions that must have crossed every passenger’s mind must have been endless. Personally, I am not sure how I would have reacted to such an experience, but I would definitely put it third on the list of bad flying experiences after crash/emergency landing and hijacking. After recently flying back from the US, I am just glad that I did not have to witness that myself. Have a nice weekend and a safe flight if you are going away.
By Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan
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